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Full text of "The fortunate escape"

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DEAN's 



Sllustrat^ /nrtliiitg fmh. 




THE 



FORTUNATE ESCAPE. 








LONDON: DEAN & SON, 
11, LudgateHill. 24 




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SHE FORTUNATE ESCAPE. 







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11 










During the French and Indian war, 



fHH FORTUNATE ESCAPE. 8 

when the red man, in merciless rage, 
scalped for bounty — on a lovely summer's 
evening, when the trees, the golden 
flowers, and the green waving grass, all 
seemed to echo back the evening song of 
the birds in their homeward flight, strange 
though it may seem that ever care or 
anxiety should have been banished from 
the mind at such a fearful time — yet I 
remember my heart was light. Edward 
had taken Monson, the hired man, who 
worked with him upon this farm, and 
each, with gun and knapsack, had gone to 
drive up the cows to be milked. Just as 
I put aside my spinning-wheel, and laid 
the cloth for our supper, the discharge of 
a gun, in the direction of the pasture- 
land, filled my heart with fear — for I 
knew that the Indians lurked about, with 
tomahawk and scalping-knife. We got 
up a rally from the neighbourhood, and 
went forth to seek our missing ones. Oh ! 
how my heart died within me, when 
Edward, my eldest son, and your own 
paternal grandfather, met me on his re- 
turn, and falling, sorrow- stricken, ex- 



4 THE FORTUNATE ESCAPE. 

claimed, "Mother! oh, mother! we must 
try to bear our trouble. Father is no- 
where to be found, and the ground is all 
bespattered with blood— those cruel, blood- 
thirsty beings V* We could not indulge in 
hope, and the only conclusion was, that 
mine was a widowed and fatherless 
family. I must not pain you, my dear 
children, by the rehearsal of our sorrows 
and sufferings— our regrets for the loved 
and best, the good and the brave, whose 
tortures, perhaps, we 'were never to know. 
We had enough of this world's goods ; we 
did not want for bread. We had friends, 
too. Your grandfather was a good boy 
then, a lad of fourteen years, and man- 
fully he strove to drive away the despair 
which daily threatened to cloud my mind 
for ever. In vain were all such efforts. 
To me, no beauty was there in the 
morning sun, no joy in the song of the 
evening birds ; my heart withered and 
died daily ; nor could I be comforted, 
because he " was not." Thus had passed 
away four dreary months ; and, one day, 
I came in from a little thicket of hemlock 



iIE FORTUNATE ESCAPE. 



5 



near the door, where I had been cutting a 




broom. Your grandfather sat in his seat, 



THE FORTUNATE ESGABS. 

evidently trying to conceal some strong 
overwhelming emotion ; the younger chil- 
dren sat about the seat you now occupy, 
looking very archly at each other. I 
stopped to warm my hands by the fire, 
when my eye rested upon this sacred 
thing — relic of my early love, and har- 
binger of peace. It had been placed 
there on purpose to attract my attention. 

1 could see there was joy in the faces of 
my children, and I knew my husband 
lived! " Where is your father V" I asked, 
" For I know he has come.'* The voice 
of my beloved Edward responded in these 
words, "Here am I, my Mary!" To 
pourtray the happiness of that moment, 
words were but a mockery. Our greeting 
was mutual; and that was the time I 
first gave my heart to God, when I saw 
my own dependence, prayed earnestly for 
the forgiveness of sin, saw my Saviour, 
and knew the happiness of a ransomed 
soul. My children, the Angel Gabriel 
hovered over this house, ready to bear the 
glad tidings of a newly-born soul to 

Heaven, and "Gabriel! Gabriel!" I 



THE FORTUNATE ESCAPE. f 

shouted, "stop a moment longer, and 
carry the glad tidings of one more new- 
born soul to Heaven." It was even so. 
My husband laid hold of the cross with 
me ; we were received and blessed toge- 
ther. 

A change passed over the countenance 
of that aged woman ; her white lip 
quivered ; she cast upon us a benignant 
and happy smile; she spoke again, "God 
bless you, my children ; I am going 
home to Heaven." Her hand fell upon 
the Bible before her, and Mary Hunter 
had passed away. 

The remainder of this story was told 
me by my father. When the Indians 
came upon Edward Hunter and Monson, 
both guns were loaded ; and, had not 
Monson been so cowardly a spirit, my 
great grandsire would have stood his 
ground with any number of them, while 
ammunition lasted. He directed Monson 
to re-load after the first shot, wherewith 
he killed one ; but, turning to take, as he 
expected, a loaded gun, there was the 
fearful and cowardly fellow being dragged 



8 THE FORTUNATE ESCAPE. 

by the heels, from the stump of a hollow 
tree, by two of the reel men. They were 
carried prisoners to Canada by a tribe of 
Indians, enduring great sufferings, and 
were afterwards redeemed by our Govern- 
ment, and sent home. 




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